For anyone just entering my time stream, I’m at the moment where I’m discussing my fondness for the Legend of Zelda series.
The conversation I’m referring to is the one where I reclaim a new 3DS after a theft, following my return from E3. That should narrow it down a bit. The post immediately proceeding this one involved a bit of an irresponsibility on my part, though only due to a lack of time. I got a small article out there with the time I did have, in all of it’s rushed glory. I remain a hypocrite after the fact, however, as I had the past two days off and did absolutely nothing with them in terms of writing.
As history has shown, more time does not equal better results.
Though, I like to remind everyone right now that some moments are not fixed points in time, leaving me wanting to believe that this historical rule isn’t always the case.
Vaporware and development time debates won’t stop me from being excited about Zelda, however…another rule history has revealed to be true time and time again. Currently, my excitement (regarding Zelda) deals with my recent play through of Ocarina of Time 3D, in an effort to get me back in the saddle, riding the high horse of efficiency once again. Efficiency in this instance pertaining to video games and writing (I have my priorities in check, hush you). Since I’ve beaten OoT3D thus far and have effectively written about the act several times, I’m reassured I’m on point with what matters to me.
Okay, this post has become far too sentimental for it’s own good, so here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises involving Zelda to annoy the censors and hopefully spark some sort of controversy.
That second to last picture is funny on several levels. Some of you may be wondering why I included a picture of the Water Temple at the end there…but I’m gonna guess you forgot how much of a dick experience that was on Zelda’s part.
I’ve noticed my last couple posts have become far more visually oriented, and I’m not sure if that equates to me being a lazy writer or an excited visual story teller. No matter, as we have Zelda to discuss, and that’s conversation enough for any reasonably minded fun loving person. Continuing on after some review, I think I espoused as much as anyone would enjoy about Master Quest in my Wild Horse Adventure, which means I have only the core experience of Ocarina left to discuss. I’m going to try and focus on the less than obvious points of amazing here, as the transformation from kid to adult Link, the transition to 3D, and the Z-Targeting have all been extensively celebrated to hell and back. They all represent the refined reasons the game was so critically praised, but that doesn’t mean the other fine details don’t help to create the vibrant experience that is Ocarina of Time.
As an aside, I have half a mind to junk this whole god damned post and re-write it from scratch, as it’s taken me at least a week to get around to writing the whole thing, and I no longer have faith it’s providing the value I want. I mean, I got some dick jokes relating to Zelda on the screen, so I guess it all shakes out. Whatever, I’m just going to continue on and talk about some of the best horse action of the 90’s.
I mentioned in my first couple of posts I would finally explain why I’ve had an equestrian themed post names. While I suppose Back in the Saddle was properly detailed in relation to what I was writing about, my other post Wild Horse Adventure probably made less sense to everyone, especially considering I didn’t mention a single horse in the post. Well, while I’ve been relating these posts to getting on the “high horse of efficiency” through the act of gaming and writing, I had far more elaborate creative plans to make the whole thing more metaphoric, and have a heavy focus on Link’s steed Epona from OoT. I’ve obviously failed to do that, but I think discussing our favorite thoroughbred now would still be worth both our times.
And if it doesn’t turn out that way then oh fucking well. You should feel so lucky you have some spare time to laugh at a couple of dick jokes anyways.
In any case, I’ve found that a lot of people remember riding Epona around Hyrule field very fondly, which is very interesting to me. Not because it isn’t a defining moment for both the game and the series, but because it means Ocarina of Time is a good enough experience for people to have enjoyed most if not all of it, which is impressive. This is due to a large quantity of hard numbers and stats that have exposed gamers as fickle in terms of game completion. While I should provide physical evidence of this happening, I really won’t (promise), so I’m hoping you just trust me on this. The numbers and stats I’m referring to involve data harvested from achievements and online related data, which has revealed a lot of gamers don’t beat most games they get their hands on, few do in fact. Regularly, I’ve seen the number of about only 5% of players even beating games one time through on default difficulty, which is crazy when you consider how much content they’re missing out on.
Alternatively, this may be a dictation on how complicated or involved video games can be on a regular basis, and why it’s so difficult for outsiders to just jump in, hence why games like Angry Birds are so popular (while still acknowledging price and ease of access, of course). Regressing in my point just slightly, I know I said I wouldn’t bother with hard evidence in terms of gamers never really finishing their games, but I will deposit a fascinating quote from the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata which directly relates to my current talking point.
For anyone who can’t be arsed to click that hyperlink, the article mentioned relates to a real conversation Iwata had involving internal tests Nintendo has conducted in the past several years. They’re purpose was to help the developers at Nintendo understand general gaming skill to help them cultivate more accessible games in today’s rapidly expanding market. The test in question involved the first Super Mario Bros, and how adept modern day gamers were in completing the first level of Super Mario Bros.
The results, at least to my gaming mind, were extraordinary:
“It may come as a shock to some of you that most gamers today can not finish the original Super Mario Brothers game on the Famicom. We have conducted this test over the past few years to see how difficult we should make our games and have found that the number of people unable to finish the first level is steadily increasing.
This year, around 90 percent of the test participants were unable to complete the first level of Super Mario Brothers.”
While this quote is enough to act as the physical evidence I promised I wouldn’t provide, I want to also include this one, just to drive home this painfully humorous point:
“We watched the replay videos of how the gamers performed and saw that many did not understand simple concepts like bottomless pits. Around 70 percent died to the first Goomba. Another 50 percent died twice. Many thought the coins were enemies and tried to avoid them. Also, most of them did not use the run button. There were many other depressing things we noted but I can not remember them at the moment.”
So there you have it, some eye opening facts relating to the whole of gaming reality, and specifically to why I’m impressed so many I talk to look back on Epona fondly, as acquiring your equine comrade is not only deep into the game, but not needed in finishing the game, and in my opinion even hard to discover, let alone accomplish. I will briefly comment here on the Iwata quote, by saying that quote in and by itself may be enough to prompt me to write an article about gaming difficulty and concepts, as discussing design and it’s relation to the human mind thrills me. The article may end up as a continuation of my thoughts on Theory vs Execution in the gaming world, but we’ll see.
With all of this under consideration, and god dammed if I don’t suck at being succinct and keeping my promises, if we are to accept that gamers often start but don’t finish their games, the general commitment and skill level of gamers in general, or how hard it is to obtain Epona to begin with, we can really begin admire the power of nostalgia that comes harnessed with our galloping god send, with all of her warm glory. Which, leads me to the point of this post, which I absolutely have just barely touched upon (and surprise surprise have run out of time to discuss again), why Ocarina of Time can brag about just one more thing that absolutely no one takes for granted.
And that’s having some of the best horse action in video games.
(Next time, on Active Time Event: Pash gets serious about horses.)